When the spiky, sky blue structure rendered by bourgeoning architectural firm HWKN won MoMA PS1’s Young Architect’s Program earlier this year, it marked the most ambitious creation the initiative had seen in its thirteen-year history. The reality of actually erecting the design (named Wendy), called for loads of scaffolding to hold up 1,555 square yards of nylon fabric, which was treated with a cool titania nanoparticle spray to neutralize airborne pollutants. The structure’s surface area-maximizing starburst shape packs in as much pollution-fighting material as possible. Technical challenges presented other hurdles, as Wendy also houses fans, water cannons, and a sound system for the visitors in the museum’s courtyard.
After architects Mattias Hollwich and Marc Kushner started looking for collaborators, help came filing in. Friends offered to make Wendy merchandise to help foot the cost of construction, while enthusiasts like Big Ass Fans and Pureti donated supplies. At the project’s website, you can buy Wendy clothing and accessories covered in the same titania nanoparticles that coats the real thing (creative firms 2×4, Pentagram, and Bruce Mau Design provided illustrations).
Now Wendy is ready for her big debut. She—and her supporters—definitely have something to celebrate.
Wendy will be on view at MoMA PS1 from July 1 until September 8.